2-Aug-2011 (Tue)
Wherein we have espresso!

Our espresso machine is still in the shop -- apparently one of the pressure vessels is cracked, and needs to be welded, which takes a black belt in welding or something -- so in the meantime we found a rental! It's bigger than what I want, but it does in fact make coffee. And there was much rejoicing.

So come by and caffinate. In fact, come by and caffinate the middle of the night or early in the morning -- we'll be open all night tonight, and will probably be open 24/7 for good starting this weekend or early next week!

Our architect had a good meeting with the planning department today, so "operation: knock a hole in the wall" is inching along at its predictably glacial pace. This meeting meant that the folks at planning tentatively believe that the story laid out in our blueprints makes sense and is legal. Next week, we have the same meeting with the fire department, and the department of building inspection. After that, we get to schedule an appointment to submit our plans to planning and building, which will be in about a month. Then, they will put us on the calendar for a hearing -- which will probably be two months after that. Assuming we get through that hearing with a "yes" from planning, then the department of building inspection takes our plans and ponders them... and it may take three months after that to get an answer from them.

And only then can we swing our first hammer.

It's really a wonder that anything gets done at all, ever.

If you haven't watched this video, you really should. The most amazing thing about this is that it was made by the San Francisco Planning Department.

Big government wants your ice-cream cones

That video would be funnier if it was not my life.

Also, photos are up of Blow Up, possibly the most photographically well-documented event that there has ever been, in the history of clubbing. Every month, those guys post thousands of photos, and they aren't even all near-duplicates of each other. I usually try to prune our galleries down to 50 or so, because I believe people suffer gallery-fatigue if there are more than that... They're mostly pretty decent photos, though, so it's hard!

10 Responses:

  1. Joe John says:

    And people here in Germany complain about needless administrative burdens. Thanks for keeping us informed, it sure makes my day easier - really,everything seems to be a lot more fun when compared to running a bar/restaurant/nightclub in SF. Uh, that maybe doesn't help much -

    what is keeping you from punching furniture, anyway?

    Well, if ever someone complains here that "everything is so complicated" I send them that video . "Enforcement officers confiscating plates" that really has to be some kind of a sick joke.

  2. fantasygoat says:

    It's the same everywhere. In order to tear down the rotten, falling over garage at the back of my house I need a "destruction" permit, which required me to pay $1300 for a new land survey, and it gets submitted to the city for them to examine and decide when I can have an appointment to discuss it. Meanwhile the thing is a hazard.

    To build a new garage, I had to hire an architect to submit plans to a *different* committee, who handle "fast track" submissions, but even though I don't qualify for that system because my garage design doesn't allow for 12' (feet!) of setback on a 25' property because I actually want to park a car in there, I still have to submit to that committee to have it rejected, so I can then apply to the correct committee who might give me a hearing sometime next year. At that point my neighbours can object to anything in my plan they like, and I have to start over again.

    All that seems normal, but the real monkey wrench in the works is that there's a mature tree near the garage that needs to have a couple of branches trimmed, but in order to do that I must apply for a "right to injure" permit, which means hiring an arborist to come evaluate the situation and make sure it's okay to *cut a branch off a tree on my own property*.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just knock the old garage down after a rainstorm, and claim that the wind did it?

      Also, does anyone ever actually come and inspect all this?

      • fantasygoat says:

        Having it still standing makes the building permit easier, unfortunately. The really sad part is that no one will come to inspect the garage, but because there's a tree, they will *definitely* come inspect - because they care more about trees than buildings.

    • badc0ffee says:

      It might be easier to trim the tree/knock down the garage and eat the fines. (Of course this wouldn't work for building new; they would make you take the structure down).

    • Matt says:

      Dare I ask where this is taking place?

      • fantasygoat says:

        Toronto. Tree Hugger capital of Canada.

        • Adolf Osborne says:

          I think it is a good idea for me to never move to Toronto.

          Where I'm from, if I want to kill one of my trees I just, you know, do it. I've got a friend that heats with wood who is skilled with a chainsaw -- all it takes is a small bribe of beer or maybe a good cigar to make it happen.

          We fell the things right into the middle of the fucking lot, whole. And -then- we start cutting the limbs off.

          Whatever brush and scraps he doesn't want to keep for himself, we pile up and burn in a monumental bonfire with flames licking as high as 40 feet tall.

          We do this right in the middle of town, with about half a dozen neighbors within a stone's throw, and nobody seems to mind.

          Well, except for this one crazy old bitch who lives out behind us, who told us we couldn't cut down a huge rotten mulberry tree because, you see, her dogs need the shade.

          Now, to be honest, I hadn't really planned on doing anything with that mulberry except snack on the low-hanging fruit in the summer. But as soon as I was told I could not do anything with it, it became very obvious to me that it had to go. Immediately.

          It was on the ground less than 24 hours later. I haven't heard anything from that lady since, which really is just as well...

          • fantasygoat says:

            We have to protect the "Urban Forest" so the lefty nutbags on council once again feel the need to tell us all what to do with our own property.

  3. We just finally finished subdividing 2 acres out of my parents' 10 acre plot of land out in an extremely rural area (dirt road, the nearest neighbors are family). It took about 4 months to get through all the various planning commissions etc, mostly because they all meet once a month in the same week. All that hassle just to say we could make a new plot of land out of the old one, we haven't even started working on building a house yet.